Abreast yourself with some basic and important facts about a prescription medication known as Metformin HCl from this article. Facts mainly include the working and side effects of this drug.
Metformin HCl stands for Metformin Hydrochloride. It is a Food and Drug Administration approved prescription medication for the treatment of people suffering from type 2 diabetes. It has the trade name ‘Glucophage’. In type 2 diabetes, the body either becomes resistant to the effects of the hormone known as insulin, produced in the body, or produces very little of this hormone. Insulin is required by the body to regulate the glucose that is received from foods. The carbohydrates that are received from the food we eat, is broken down into sugar molecules, and glucose is one of them. And this is absorbed by the bloodstream.
Thereafter, the pancreas secretes insulin, which causes the sugar to enter the cells. And this makes up for the main source of energy for daily functioning. And when the body hasn’t received any form of nutrition for a while, the liver metabolizes glycogen into glucose and provides the required energy for sometime. But type 2 diabetes hampers this whole process, and causes the blood sugar level to rise in the bloodstream, giving rise to some major complications. Diabetes has no cure, but there are medications which are known to help reduce the severity of this condition, and the risk of complications, as well. And Metformin HCl is one of the medications that are used for the treatment.
How does it Work?
Metformin HCl aims towards fulfilling three main purposes in the treatment. They include:
- To reduce the absorption of sugar from the food received by the body
- To inhibit the process of the liver to convert glycogen into sugar
- And cause the insulin receptors in the body to be more sensitive. By doing this, the body can respond well to whatever amount of insulin that is being produced by the pancreas
So when these three purposes are fulfilled, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, and its tendency to cause complications are reduced. Also, the drug does not have any effects on the insulin secretion of the pancreas.
Side effects are a part and parcel of almost every kind of medication. And this is no different with Metformin HCl. However, with this drug, there aren’t many cases of people who have had to experience many side effects. And those who did, have tolerated the side effects well. Fortunately, all such side effects are self-resolving, and do not require treatment whatsoever. The commonly observed Metformin side effects, if and when they occur, are:
- Digestive problem such as diarrhea, and indigestion
- Fatigue and weakness
- Feeling of discomfort in the abdomen
The state of your diabetes, other medical conditions that you may be suffering from, and other medications that you may be taking, are some important factors that influence the dosage of this type 2 diabetes medicine. The dosage may also vary with the intended use of this drug; whether it is used as a short-term or long-acting medication. For the first type, the prescribed dosage for age group of 10 – 16 years is:
- Starting dosage of 500 mg, twice daily
- Maximum dosage must not exceed beyond 2000 mg per day
And for people in age group of 17 and over:
- 500 mg may be administered twice daily, or 850 mg once daily.
- 2550 mg is the maximum dosage.
This was the dosage for the short-acting Metformin HCl. For the long-acting one, the dosage is prescribed as:
- Starting 500 mg once daily
- Maximum dosage comes up to 2000 mg daily.
The advantage of using this diabetes medication over others is its ability to facilitate weight loss, regulate cholesterol levels, treat fertility issues in women, and even reduce the chances of miscarriages.